The 10 Richest Members Of Congress – And How They Earned Their Fortunes

By on May 23, 2015 in ArticlesHow Much Does

Politics is often called a rich man's game, and that holds true for the 10 richest members of Congress. Running for Congress costs cash money. Sure, you have political donations, fundraisers to drum up the money, and money from either the Democrats or Republicans, but it still is an expensive endeavor. Rarely does an unknown yokel rise from anonymity to become a member of Congress. These men and women have been active in their respective careers and communities. They've been someone – or done something – that caught the eye of their party's leaders. In short, they had lives before they joined the United States government in an official capacity. Some of them made crazy money. Roughly one in ten of the 535 members of the House and Senate rank among the nation's top one percent in terms of personal net worth.

These are the 10 Richest Members of Congress:

10. Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA)

Net worth $37.89 million

Representative DelBene saw her wealth increase in the past year when the price of the stock she and her husband Kurt held in Microsoft rose substantially. They then sold it off for at least $2.5 million. The Washington Democrat and her husband both worked as executives at Microsoft.

9. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

Net Worth: $43.7 million

The chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee is married to private equity magnate, Richard Blum. He has significant holdings through Blum Capital Partners, including the Carlton Hotel chain, Al Gore's Current Media, and OZ Fitness.

8. Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA)

Net Worth: $45 million

The former environmental attorney from San Diego made millions as an environmental attorney in the 1990s, representing government agencies and businesses in regulatory disputes, as well as from shrewd investments. His net worth is also buoyed by the enormous success of his wife, Lynn Gorguze, who heads a private equity firm, Cameron Holdings. Gorguze's contribution to the family household is significant, as she has at least $14 million in assets of her own.

7. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn)

Net Worth: $62 million

Senator Blumenthal's net worth dropped by more than $20 million over the past year. Much of his wealth comes from the trust of his wife Cynthia, daughter of New York real estate tycoon Peter Malkin.

6. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Co)

Net Worth: $73.5 million

Representative Polis, at 39, is the youngest of the ten wealthiest Congress members. His wealth comes from a diverse portfolio full of emerging growth and startup investments in Colorado and Japan, including a more than $1 million stake in Aquacopia, the world's only aquaculture venture capital firm. He also has a blind trust worth at least $25 million that he set up after he was elected to Congress. That trust generated more than $1 million in income last year.

5. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)

Net Worth: $95.1 million

Senator Warner made an enormous fortune as a venture capitalist making shrewd investments early on in the cellular phone industry. In the early 1980s, he convinced some investors to help him buy cellular telephone licenses and he acquired a big stake in Nextel. He did this before he turned 40, which is when he turned his ambitions towards politics.

4. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WVA)

Net Worth: $108 million

He is a Rockefeller. Do we need to say more? Jay is an heir to oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller. His wealth, or rather, inheritance/trust fund/things rich people have, is concentrated in a few blind trusts.

3. Rep. John Delaney (D-MD)

Net Worth: $111.9 million

Congressman Jon Delaney is a self-made financier who founded HealthCare Financial Partners in 1993 and later CapitalSource of Chevy Chase, Md. He is the wealthiest Democrat in Congress and the only current member who has been a CEO of a publicly traded company.

2. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)

Net Worth: $117.5 million

How did McCaul make his money? He married into it. His wife Linda is the daughter of Clear Channel founder Lowry Mays. Not a single asset is listed as being in McCaul's name, they are all tied to his wife.

1. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)

Net Worth: $357 million

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman tops the list, thanks to the fortune he amassed manufacturing car alarms. Darrell Issa founded Directed Electronics, based in Vista, California. Now, he seems to make his money through the bond market – he lists seven high yield bond investments as being worth more than $50 million on his financial statement. That is the highest disclosure category. Those bonds could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars – EACH – for all we know.

Darrell Issa
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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